BEVERLY HILLS—On December 3, a class-action, federal lawsuit alleged that “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star, Erika Jayne, and her divorce from her attorney husband, Thomas Girardi, was the result of hiding embezzled funds, which were intended for plane crash victims.
The suit claims that Girardi used the money to maintain “a public image of obscene wealth at all times” for himself and his wife.
Edelson PC, an Illinois based firm, filed the suit claiming that Girardi and his firm (Girardi Keese) stole millions of dollars. Edelson PC helped Girardi represent surviving relatives of the October 2018 Lion Air 610 plane crash, which killed all 189 passengers after taking off from Jakarta, Indonesia during its intended destination to the western city of Pangkal Pinang. The plane crashed on the coast of Indonesia in less than 13 minutes.
It was determined that the crash was caused by the faulty anti-stall system, which forced the plane’s nose down 20 times—a defect discovered only after the same problem brought down another 737 in Ethiopia, killing 157 people and forcing Boeing to ground the fleet. Lion Air Chief Executive Edward Sirait said the plane had an unspecified “technical issue” on a previous flight, but he said that this had been “resolved.”
According to the complaint, Girardi “has resorted to embezzling the proceeds of settlements that should have been directed to his clients—including… the widows and orphans who lost loved ones in the tragic crash of Lion Air Flight 610—in order to continue funding his and Erika’s lavish Beverly Hills lifestyles.”
The suit alleges that Girardi and his firm, which represented families of the victims, find themselves “on the verge of financial collapse and locked in a downward spiral of mounting debts and dwindling funds.”
The complaint states, “When asked why she and Tom required two private planes, Erika responded, ‘Because one is small and one is big!’ Erika also bragged that the most expensive thing she owns is a singular piece of jewelry but would not say how much it was worth. And she bought Tom a $5,000 toilet as a gift.” The complaint indicated that funding this sort of lifestyle would require an innumerable amount of cash.
“Girardi and Jayne siphoned significant sums of money from lenders and clients and moved it out of GK’s bank accounts for personal use. This exact scheme was described in a sworn declaration by Alan Zimmerman, CEO of Law Finance, in its litigation against Girardi:[Girardi’s] claim [that Law Finance Group] included an unwarranted attack in their complaint by claiming that Mr. Girardi was using LFG’s money to support his lavish lifestyle, but even if that were somehow relevant here, LFG’s allegations are true. As explained above, LFG has obtained financial records that demonstrate that Girardi has been using Girardi Keese funds to ‘loan’ over $20 million dollars to his wife’s company, EJ Global. LFG even tried previously to redact the name of the recipient of these funds from the prior filings, in order to save Mr. Girardi the embarrassment,” reads the complaint.
Jayne has been a regular on the Bravo reality series since season 6. The 11th season is currently in the progress of filming. No air date has been released by Bravo for the upcoming season.